Topic of the Week: What Routes Do You Hope the 787 Will Open?


United is going to use its 787-9 to fly nonstop from LA to Melbourne. This seems like a great use of that airplane. Now, let’s turn it over to you. Which routes do you hope the 787 will open up (on any airline)?

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65 comments on “Topic of the Week: What Routes Do You Hope the 787 Will Open?

  1. A few years ago, there was quite a bit of talk about how the 787 would open up long and thin routes that were completely impossible to operate with any other aircraft.
    Melbourne gets 30 million passengers per year and has had flights to London (that’s half way around the world) on and off for decades. Qantas and Virgin already fly Los Angeles-Melbourne.

    I’m sure United’s route will do well, but if this was the kind of route the 787 was built for, it all seems a complete anti-climax.

    1. Anywhere in the US to AKL or better yet CHC. I know Air New Zealand has fights, I want to use my United miles.

  2. I would love to see my hometown YHZ see service to another Star Hub – such as FRA on AC. I don’t know what the market would be, but YUL to Asia would also be quite interesting…

  3. I’d love to see the CO planned route of IAH to AKL make a comeback. Maybe NZ will open the market when they receive the 787. Qantas already does DFW to Brisbane. Connecting the two Star Alliance hubs would be a good idea.

  4. For me, I’ld like to see an AMS to Australia non-stop. (Cranky, there already is a daily AMS-LAX flight ;-) ) I guess the 787 will open a lot of opportunities to or from Australia and New Zealand.

  5. United Houston to Shanghai and Hong Kong to connect more of China to Latin America (just got Beijing). Houston-Auckland to connect the Star hubs. Houston-Santiago,Chile would be nice to complete the major cities of South America from Houston.

  6. I would love to see United open up some other 787 routes from its Denver hub. Flights between any number of cities in Europe and Denver would seem to be a good fit.

    1. I have seen Boeing do test take off/landings on the new 787-9 at Colorado Springs (COS) airport where I live..I have flown the DEN-IAH on 787-8 which is NICE!..Since I will probably move to DEN soon, I agree that DEN-LHR would be nice…or DEN-FRA (LH flies that now on a 747-400). but the 787 is a nice airplane..

  7. I’d love to see it open up more links to Africa as well as minor hubs to major international transit pointsI know it’s used on IAH-LOS but some other possibilities I’ve thought of are:

  8. I think United is on the right track with its tri-weekly SFO-Chengdu route starting in June. I’d like to see additional routes from the west coast to secondary Asian business cities (Wuhan, Xian, Chongqing, Osaka).

    1. United already has a 787-8 on SFO-KIX (Osaka). It used to be a 777 service but has now been downguaged.

      Agree with the other China regional cities though.

  9. DFW-DEL or BOM on AA and IAH-DEL/BOM on UA.

    What I suspect will really happen, though, is that some service that is currently done via 747/777/A380 will eventually be downgauged to a 787, with the trade-off being more frequent service. AA’s upcoming new DFW-HKG service comes to mind.

  10. I’m going to paint with some broad strokes, but I’d like to see some leisure carriers pick up the 787 to fly to more international leisure markets where the economics may make sense. For example getting from the Western US to the Caribbean is lengthy and expensive. East coast to Hawaii is the same way. Even some more affordable service to SE Asia from the US would be nice.

  11. PIT-LHR

    I think PHX will benefit a lot from the 787/A350. It seems to me a lot like AUS. A fair amount of international potential but not enough to justify a bigger plane. Also, I’m curious as Hawaiian starts receiving the A350 what smaller US cities will get nonstop to HNL.

  12. yes, UA is using the B787 , BUT ,is using the aircraft , to UNDERMINE THE SENIORITY AND PAY OF THE ”REAL UA-pre merger UNITED flight attendants ,to give tot he Continental flight attendants, who are paid less and more average junior/ IS CAUSING BIG PROBLEMS AT UA, because UA WILL NOT TRAIN THE REAL UA flight attendants on the B787. THERE IS MUCH ANGER FROM THE REAL UA employees
    could be a BAD SPRING OR SUMMER, from action they,flight attendants ,may or may not do……

    1. I have a friend who is a FA on original UA..and is getting laid off (DEN based)..but the IAH based FAs are not..I am not an expert on airline mergers but UA has really gone downhill since the merger and it shows with its staff…Not the pilots as much as the FAs (who are NOT there to ensure that you have a beverage or maybe a meal as it is about ensuring your butt is SAFE on their aircraft!!) but treat all FAs, Gate agents and baggage handlers as equals…whether in IAH, DEN IAD ORD EWR or any other UA hub..Management is running these two one fine airlines into the ground…Thank you

      1. Rest assured that in the greater scheme of things your DEN friend has less seniority than the IAH flight attendants. That is, of course, unless you are comparing a United DEN flight attendant against a legacy Continental IAH employee – which, cannot be done because they are governed by separate contracts and therefore have differing seniority lists.

        Because legacy United is initiating layoffs, not Continental side of the house, it may well impact your DEN friend and not those hired at Continental.

        Since seniority and timing govern an airline career, it seems your DEN friend lacks both.

      2. I think you’ll find that it’s the lack of progress by the unions on a single FA contract that’s the issue.

        From what I’ve heard they’re farther apart than my lifetime mileage on United (and I’m 10 years a 1K).

        The first wave of 787s were ordered by Continental, and that’s why sCO crew fly them. sUA get their first 787 deliveries in around 2016.

        1. Since they are now operating under the same air certificate, it should not matter as all employees are now United. It’s things like this that give unions a bad name. It’s not a perfect world, but when 2 companies merge, everyone should keep their seniority. But if its a takeover, then the people who were brought on from the company that was acquired could lose their seniority as they may have been out of a job if their previous company went out of business.

    2. Sadly, you are misinformed. Not only is top of the pay scale higher for Continental flight attendants, but it is substantially greater. Period; end of story.

  13. DL DTW-BOM or ATL-BOM would be awesome. They used to have the latter but killed it much to my regret.

  14. PT and PHX are irelevant cities and NOT IMPORTANT // Dl ,if they order the B787, could SLC, but will do ATL,DTW,MSP, SEA, and LAX before, SLC

    1. Portland? Over SLC, don’t see it. The Delta hub has had Tokyo service currently has Paris dailies. AUS was just given a BA non-stop to London without being a hub or serving more than 10 million PA’s, SLC is around the 21 million mark more than PDX and AUS combined. PHX has 747-400 service on BA to London, without being a decent market with AA, DL or UA it’s not likely that Sky Harbor with pickup international service with LA being so close. I’ve flown Qantas into Melbourne using a 747 and a 380, that city pair isn’t going to face a downgrade to the 787, maybe DEN.

    2. Friend I can’t agree with a word you have written. On further review I didn’t read your remarks close enough, I though you were supporting international flights for Portland. They did have Tokyo service on UA or DL in the days when service to Japan was more tightly regulated than it is today and Portland was the only city the CAB would approve for added flights. Phoenix and Denver serve roughing the same number of PA’s. PHX is hurt by having dominant carriers WN and US neither of which will be offering international service. You can only do Mexico without having to connect in Philly or Charlotte on US. The cities you named have Europeon service and Delta isn’t flying the 787’s but old 330’s and 767’s on long international flights. Don’t be too shocked to see BA add a LHR non-stop with SLC using the 787. They are by far more committed to the US-UK market than DL who is content with the present JFK, BOS, ATL set up.

      1. BA will never be coming to SLC, especially since DL just announced SLC-AMS in addition to SLC-CDG. BA lost its chance. BA has been in talks with PDX since then about starting PDX-LHR. It’s an upcoming 787 route. AUS will be upgauging to 777 while the 787 will be moving to start PDX.

  15. Time to bring back the EWR to SIN nonstop flight (even if United flies it instead of Singapore Airlines), or a BOS to SIN flight.

  16. Would like to see it more in SAN. I know we’re lucky with the JAL daily flight already. But perhaps it would open some more international routes for SAN given that the 777 barely fits.

    1. I agree – SAN is a market that could blossom internationally with the 787, and I think JAL has proven that. Like the DC-10 at LGA and the BAE 146 at short runway airports, it’s almost as if the 787 was designed, in part, for markets like SAN where certain long-range international routes are possible with the right aircraft – and the 787 is it.

  17. I haven’t really looked into it, but I thought tour operators were already one of the bigger customer segments for the 787? I’m pretty sure Thompson group has a few already (or should’ve done).

    Also, again I’m going back a few years and haven’t been watching what they’ve done) but I think Emirates were one of the few airlines to buy both the A380 and 787, and in some numbers too.

    When I did some economic development work in Dubai a few years ago, the DWC airport was planned as being 6 parallel runways (think it’s now gonna be 5) with a 125m pax/pa terminal, and DXB becoming the EK-only airport. They reckoned then that with their long-range metal, they could basically try to abstract as much of the Kangaroo traffic as possible from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Hong Kong by pushing Dubai as a 2-3 day stopover with all their tourism developments. This was all before the money burp in 2008 when they needed Abu Dhabi to bail them out, but the acquisition of 380/787 was definitely along those lines of thinking then.

    1. The problem with that idea is that other airlines have access to the 787 as well, and will ostensibly offer non-stop’s to many destinations only previously served through connections or not served at all. In many ways the 787 puts a fork through the plans of the transit Gulf carriers who have won mostly on having significant connectivity and affordable prices on a wider variety of routes. The 787 changes that in many ways by offering non-stops to mid-sized cities, nullifying the benefit of the transit carriers. I may be the minority on this, but it’s my take that people dislike connections, even if it is in a place like Dubai where there are significant tourist options.

  18. I’d like to see Great Lakes get 787’s and fly between VIS-LAX with only 9 seats :-)

    Have a good weekend everyone.

  19. I wouldn’t fly ANYWHERE on this flying plastic bag. I feel there are still a LOT of bugs to work out of this sad aircraft. Give me an old DC10 or L1011 (I wish) and old workhorse. Not something made out of what used to be a plastic stir stick from McDonalds.

  20. YYZ-JNB

  21. I am intrigued by places like AUS and SJC getting more long distance international service. With all three majors getting orders I would not only like to see the return of SLC-NRT and anything that DEN has but long distance additions out of PHX as I think AA’s post-merger hub utilization will increase and LAX will become far more of an O&D role with a significantly reduced Eagle presence. Routes like PDX-AMS might be able to sustain without subsidy with the 787. I have seen route suggestions on here that are quite interesting and I see two possibilities that interest me: The 2-3 million metro markets receiving international, overwater service to major destinations, i.e. AUS-LHR, or, the thinner routes that weren’t possible until now, i.e. FUK-LAX, etc. Places that used to have service to London and Paris, that have since been dehubbed, now may have a shot at getting that kind of service with a 787.

    I think that as more 787 frames come online we will see international route additions that will be just as interesting to watch develop as it is to watch Allegiant and Frontier.

      1. My bad – last time I did this with BA (14 years ago:), it was ‘direct’, but stopping in PHX.

        Still, would rather fly UA.

  22. Though I love having a layover in Tokyo, I would enjoy seeing more SE Asia flights direct from America. No more DTW-NRT-MNL for example. There are a fair number of “smaller” markets as far as the American traveler goes that will be opened up by this plane, and I’m excited to see that happen. I think some of the other commentators who were expecting crazy routes to lackluster markets are not going to be impressed, but the advantage for the American flyer internationally with the 787 has been gaining direct access to mid-sized countries and capitals that don’t have direct American flights currently.

  23. I hope I never have to fly economy on the 787 – or for that matter on the 777.
    Most airlines are using these two aircraft to put narrower seats in – and to put them in closer to each other – ie: the aircraft operators are telling us all about the better air pressure and the electronic windows (thats the biggest waste of money that Ive ever heard of) and the special lighting, etc, etc – and hoping that we will all go gooey eyed about the experience – and packing people in like sardines – and on ever longer flights.

    No – the 747 is still the most comfortable aircraft in the sky – followed closely by the A380 (although the boarding and unloading times are painful – the A380 takes up to 20 minutes to get everyone off.)

  24. BOS-GRU. With all the Brazilians in the Boston area this flight would be terrific. Also BOS-LIS to serve the Portuguese population in New England.

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